An active archive is a collection of data that is too valuable for a company to discard, but is only accessed occasionally.
Active archives store data that is not read-write intensive and does not need to be modified, but may be read from time to time. Such data is usually stored on less expensive, slower performing storage media such as tape or inexpensive disk. An active archive may include software for moving data seamlessly between storage tiers so it can be directly accessed by applications or users. Active archives are usually protected with replication to another archive system, not just by traditional backup.
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An active archive can be contrasted with a deep archive, which holds data that will probably not be accessed again but must be kept for compliance or other business reasons.